Monthly Archives: June 2015

Wow… so much for “regular” updates!

I can’t believe that I slacked off on posting anything for over a year.  It would be reasonable to assume that maybe I haven’t been doing anything in the lab but I actually have stayed pretty busy over the past year.  I was just very bad about posting anything.  So it is time to do a brief recap and start fresh.

While I haven’t made much progress on my end goal of building a Mars rover style vehicle, I did do several entertaining projects.

  • Built a half-decent vehicle frame from aluminum stock and HDPE
  • Created a CAD drawing and 3D print of my great-grandfather’s airplane design (
  • Modified a automatic sprinkler system that is based on a Raspberry Pi to light an LED based on which zone is active
  • Learned how to etch my own Printed Circuit Boards
  • Built Santa’s Game o’ Chance for Teri’s Christmas present
  • Built a testbed to measure the accuracy of different stepper motor drive mechanisms.  Eventually I hope to use this knowledge to build a 3D printer and/or a CNC router.
  • Caught a motor driver on fire (see previous bullet)
  • Reverse engineered some digital calipers, soldered in lines to the circuit board to get output data and hooked them up an Arduino to record measurements (see two bullets ago)
  • Received a Logic Analyzer for Christmas and learned how to use it

Besides these, there were several other smaller projects  that kept me busy.  So, I can’t say I wasted my time.  I had fun and learned stuff.

Now comes the test… will I remember to write up any more projects before another year passes?  Time will tell.